Dead birds still ruffle feathers

The discovery of a dead swan in a schoolyard near Thessaloniki yesterday sparked concern but veterinarians said that it is common to find dead birds at this time of year, regardless of bird flu being found in Greece. Local authorities sent a special team to remove the wild swan from the school in Lagadas after schoolchildren were warned by teachers not to approach the dead bird. The swan will be tested for bird flu as Greece awaits the results of tests from an EU laboratory on three other dead swans found in northern Greece last week. Six birds from Greece have already tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus. Greece is one of six countries in the EU to have confirmed cases of the disease but veterinarians have called for people not to panic as birds often die at this time of year due to the cold weather and exhaustion. Bird pathologist Apostolos Ziogas told Kathimerini that fewer migratory birds will be flying through Greece as most will be flying back from Africa to Northern Europe.

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